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B Too, Chef Thijs Clinckemaille's Belgian on 14th Street and Rhode Island Avenue - From the Owners of Belga Cafe


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I had a really nice time at B Too on Sunday while people stood in long buffet lines at the RAMMYS. The space is similar to Belga's layout. Service was very attentive and the food was terrific. Steak Tartare was done perfectly and cleverly presented. Veal Chop special was tender and full of flavor. There is an impressive selection of beers. We particularly enjoyed a bottle of DeuS Brut de Flandres. Rich and full-flavored, great with this food. Wine selection was fine, as well. A really fun place.

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Count me and my husband as fans of B Too, too.  We've been twice, most recently late this afternoon.  Both times we were there for a late lunch on a Saturday, so their brunch menu was in effect.  Brunch runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00-4:00 pm, then the dinner service begins.  I love the fact that this restaurant is open all day on the weekends so that you can drop in anytime.  The brunch menu is quite comprehensive and I think almost anyone can find several dishes to enjoy.  The menu starts with many breakfast-type items -- egg dishes and many waffle dishes, but also includes all of their mussel dishes, several appetizers, several entrees, quite a few sandwiches, 2 or 3 soups, and a good number of sides.  So, you can have breakfast, or you can have lunch/dinner.  Their drink menus are quite extensive and if you're a beer lover, this place is for you.

On both of our visits we have enjoyed the food, the service and the ambiance.  On our first visit I had the mussels marniere (white wine, garlic, shallots, parsley) -- this was a large serving of mussels, I couldn't quite finish them -- the broth was traditional and quite tasty. The mussels were served with their frites and these were very good -- crisp on the outside, tender on the inside.  My husband had their lamb burger and, wow, that was a succulent burger.  I was allowed only one bite and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  On our visit today my husband went with their cornbread waffle with pulled pork, avocado and sour cream -- I'm not sure how Belgian that dish is ;), but my husband loved it (Belgium meets Carolina BBQ, meets Tex-Mex?).  I had the roasted chicken with the frites, mixed salad, and chicken jus.  I really enjoyed this dish.  The chicken was quite well-cooked, although the breast meat got a little dry near the end; the chicken jus was delicious and unusual -- I couldn't identify the flavors.  The salad greens were very fresh and the creamy dressing was delicious and I appreciated how it was served in its own bowl and not placed on the plate with the chicken.  The frites, as before, were perfect.  I also enjoyed a G&T made from Hendricks gin and Fever-Tree tonic with a slice of salted cucumber and a glass of a French Sancerre.

B Too is a great neighborhood restaurant and we are so glad it's in our neighborhood!

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I had an interesting experience at lunch today.  I ventured over to B Too because i wanted some soup and have enjoyed many a savory waffle in my past.  I was joined by two colleagues and all three of us enjoyed our food very much.

I had a wonderful lintel and bacon soup that was light, made lighter by the excellent use of herbs and the lintels not being over cooked. That was accompanied by a Waffle Quiche. Let me type that again: Waffle Quiche. It was divine.  Light, fluffy, and yummy.

We finished with the Chocolate Eden which was very good but difficult to split.

Here's where things went wrong. There were 3 of us and we got charged for 4 drinks.  When asked, the waitress said that because one of us ordered a mix of lemonade and iced tea, he was charged for both "since we fresh squeeze it".  Annoying.  Then, they charged us a split charge for splitting the dessert (1.50 up charge).  My lunch for 3 was well over 100$ because we ordered coffees as well.  So why 'nickel and dime' the check?

That little trick of the ticket has turned me off to B too even though the food was excellent. Am I being unreasonable?

(finally, the coffee was $4 and the espresso 4.25...just thought I'd note that for those who care about such things)

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Yeah that is definitely BS.  Someone should notify Arnold Palmer about this.

And if they fresh squeezed lemonade costs so much, why would half of it cost more than a full glass?  Surely it's half as hard to squeeze half as many lemons.  Maybe I'm overthinking this.

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Am I being unreasonable?

No. Doubly not since you brought it up on the spot. And the $1.50 split-dessert charge would irk me as much as the two-drink pricing - I'm not sure I've ever heard of a sharing charge on desserts - and during lunch ... on a Monday?! The only defense is that this could be the work of one bad apple, as opposed to the entire restaurant.

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Here's where things went wrong. There were 3 of us and we got charged for 4 drinks.  When asked, the waitress said that because one of us ordered a mix of lemonade and iced tea, he was charged for both "since we fresh squeeze it".  Annoying.  Then, they charged us a split charge for splitting the dessert (1.50 up charge).  My lunch for 3 was well over 100$ because we ordered coffees as well.  So why 'nickel and dime' the check?

That little trick of the ticket has turned me off to B too even though the food was excellent. Am I being unreasonable?

If there was an upcharge for mixing they should have told you (ha) upfront.  I'd be annoyed at a 25 or 50 cent extra charge for the mixing, but being charged for 2 full drinks is ridiculous if you only received one.  (And only half of that one was freshly squeezed.)

Was there a note on the menu about a charge for plate-splitting?  Even if there was, I don't know that I'd assume that applied to desserts unless it was clearly spelled out.

Wow, talk about shooting themselves in the foot.

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To be fair, my friend did have two Arnold Palmers.

I did not notice a split charge notice on the menu.

When I dine socially, my husband and I often split because we like a lot of variety but aren't super huge portion size people.  We have noticed that when we order drinks, appetizer, salad, split an entree, and order dessert, the split charge is often waved.  We have also often had the delightful experience of our split item coming out on two plates. That's "classy".  Given the amount of food we ordered, I was surprised by the double charged drink and the split charge on the dessert.

Anyway, I think that the food was amazing but the poor performance at the end might keep me away.  There are a number of interesting little eateries in the area that I am now curious to try.

To the question:  Waffle Quiche is quiche filling WITHIN waffle batter.  Not Quiche with Waffle crust and not quiche within two waffles like a sandwich.  It is good.

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Here's where things went wrong. There were 3 of us and we got charged for 4 drinks.  When asked, the waitress said that because one of us ordered a mix of lemonade and iced tea, he was charged for both "since we fresh squeeze it".  Annoying.  

To be fair, my friend did have two Arnold Palmers.  

Wait a minute - are you saying your friend got two drinks, and was charged for two drinks? Because I don't think *any* of us had assumed that from your first post (well, I certainly didn't). I hate to say it, but ... if this is the case, given that they're fresh-squeezing the lemonade, I think it's a correct and fully justifiable charge. This changes my entire perspective of your meal, including the split-plate charge (which, yes, is nickel-and-dimey, but is not nearly enough on its own for you to stop going to the restaurant (in my opinion)).

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since I didn't order the arnold palmer, and did not know that the lemonaid was fresh squeezed, i questioned the charge.  For some reason, the AP is a commonly ordered drink when I dine with colleagues during business lunches and in my experience picking up the check, there is usually only a charge for one, which is why I was surprised.

Anyway, the food was very good.  We'll see if I get back over there.  There was a pig place next door though...

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Well, regardless of the refill rules, I would gently suggest that if you write a critical comment about a restaurant, you make sure to accurately describe the situation.  What you initially described and what actually happened are very different.

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Well, regardless of the refill rules, I would gently suggest that if you write a critical comment about a restaurant, you make sure to accurately describe the situation.  What you initially described and what actually happened are very different.

[Coming to NolaCaine's defense here, I think the most we can say went wrong is that the initial review was (unintentionally) incompletely conveyed - everything was corrected (because of NolaCaine's own follow-up post) in less than 24 hours. If anything, I think this was an interesting example of why we're so much better than Yelp. :)]

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[Coming to NolaCaine's defense here...]

Just replying to say I hope no defense is needed...I don't mean to go on offense.  Just a nice example of how seemingly tiny details can change peoples' perspective of service.  And of course, good on NolaCaine for clarifying.

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I had driven nearly 1,500 miles in the past week, and had just rolled in from Morgantown, dropping off my two teenage companions in Fairfax. I was exhausted, my back was hurting, and I needed to tinkle. It was nearly 4 PM - should I go home and shower, then plop down into bed?


 


Nah, I drove straight downtown to B Too for happy hour.


 


I pulled up a bar stool as they were setting up for dinner service, then sucked down a Belgian Mule ($7 at happy hour).



After I began to unwind, I began thinking about dinner since I hadn't eaten a thing all day. I switched my drink to the house Sauvignon Blanc ($5 at happy hour), a 2012 from the French négociant Nicolas, and ordered food from the regular menu, starting with a Wilde Champignon Wafel ($13.50), a wild-mushroom waffle with porcini, enoki, and oyster mushrooms. As soon as my waffle hit the bar, I knew I had a winner - it was absolutely beautiful, both the ingredients and the presentation, and with the sauce, tasted every bit as good as it looked. A sensational vegetarian dish, this was a full level up from what you'd expect at B Too, and is more akin to something you might find in a Michelin starred restaurant. I urge everyone who hasn't tried this to get it. Even if you don't think you're in the mood for mushrooms, just trust me and order this. When my bartender took the order for my next course, I said, "I think I'll just have about five of these."


 


I switched over to the house Merlot ($5 at happy hour), a 2011, also from Nicolas, and ordered two small plates: Gebraiseerd Varkenbuikje ($12), fried pork belly with Belgian pickles, braised leeks, broccoli purée, and tiny pickled onions; and Patat In De Pel Met Zure Room ($8), the most dramatic name for a baked potato I've ever heard, roasted in B Too's "Josper oven" (which uses a mixture of charcoal and electric heat), crème fraí®che, chives, bacon, and crispy onion. Both dishes came out within five minutes of the order which means everything was pre-cooked (you can hide this with the pork belly, but not with the baked potato which had turned brown). The pork belly was chicken-fried, and came out in a large, rectangular wedge. A very heavy dish, somewhat short on salt, it's best attacked cut up into tiny bites and nibbled in concert with its vinegary accompaniments. The potato was a sloppy, guilty pleasure, loaded up with gooey toppings - I don't want to think of how many calories were in this, but I did come very close to finishing it, even as I left a few bites of pork belly on my plate.


 


So, a tremendously good first course, followed by a merely decent second course. I'd say the meal averaged out as "very good," but the waffle was so extraordinary that it, alone, was worth the drive of doom from Fairfax.


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